Wake-up call: Draft security pub looks at cell phones, PDAs

July 10, 2008

In recent years cell phones and PDAs--"Personal Digital Assistants"--have exploded in power, performance and features. They now often boast expanded memory, cameras, Global Positioning System receivers and the ability to record and store multimedia files and transfer them over wireless networks--in addition to the cell phone system--using WiFi, infrared and Bluetooth communications. Oh, yes, and make phone calls.

On July 7, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published for comment draft guidelines on security considerations for cell phones and PDAs. Part of a series of publications on computer security issues, the draft guidelines provide an overview of cell phones and PDA devices in use today and the growing security threats that they face and propose a framework that organizations can use to manage the security risks.

"The security issues for cell phones and PDAs range beyond those of other computer equipment," the NIST authors observe. "Moreover, many common safeguards available for desktop and networked computers are generally not as readily available across a broad spectrum of handheld device types." The draft document notes that some security enhancements better known in the personal computer world are becoming available for PDAs and smart phones, including stronger user authentication systems based on biometrics, and firewall, antivirus and intrusion detection software.
-end-
Comments on the draft document are due by Aug. 8, 2008, and should be submitted by e-mail to 800-124comments@nist.gov with "Comments SP 800-124" in the subject line.

Draft NIST computer security publications including Guidelines on Cell Phone and PDA Security (Special Publication 800-124 Draft) are available online from the NIST Computer Security Resource Center at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsDrafts.html.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related Cell Phones Articles from Brightsurf:

Smart phones are empowering women worldwide
By giving women access to information they otherwise wouldn't have, mobile phones are transforming lives.

National survey shows different bacteria on cell phones and shoes
The largest study of its kind in the US shows thousands of different types of bacteria living on cell phones and shoes, including groups that have barely been studied by scientists.

New lithium batteries from used cell phones
Research from the University of Cordoba (Spain) and San Luis University (Argentina) was able to reuse graphite from cell phones to manufacture environmentally friendly batteries.

Thyroid cancer, genetic variations, cell phones linked in YSPH study
Radiation from cell phones is associated with higher rates of thyroid cancer among people with genetic variations in specific genes, a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

Dissemination of pathogenic bacteria by university student's cell phones
New research has demonstrated the presence of S. aureus in 40% of the cell phones of students sampled at a university.

'Technoference': We're more tired & less productive because of our phones
An Australian survey of 709 mobile phone users (aged 18 to 83), led by Queensland University of Technology, has found one in five women and one in eight men are losing sleep due to bad phone habits.

Research could lead to more durable cell phones and power lines
Researchers from Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a way to make cell phones and power lines more durable. 

Cell phones without annual plans offer limited help to homeless people
The vast majority of older homeless adults have access to mobile phones, but they are usually basic phones, without annual contracts that let them keep stable numbers, and thus are only practical for one-way communication, according to a UC San Francisco study of how homeless people use mobile and Internet technology.

Laws designed to ban or curb drivers' use of cell phones are saving motorcyclists' lives
Laws to ban or curb drivers' use of cell phones and other handheld devices have greatly reduced the rate of fatalities for motorcyclists, according to a new study from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami.

Toxic chemicals calling: Cell phones as a source of flame retardants
New research by environmental scientists at the University of Toronto suggests that the exterior of mobile phones could be a source of toxic chemicals, or at least an aggregate indicator of the chemicals to which people are exposed on a daily basis.

Read More: Cell Phones News and Cell Phones Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.